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Skeleton of the Cretaceous period, told about the evolution of birds

Скелет мелового периода рассказал об эволюции птицBirds lived in woodlands and they had to maneuver between trees.

Chinese scientists have discovered fossils that helped to understand the features of the development of birds and the evolution of flight.

Researchers from the Institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences noted that the new species had the unusual structure of the shoulder girdle.

Analysis of this early Cretaceous fossils shows that it is a key point in the evolution of flight – after the birds have lost their long tail, but before they have developed flight feathers on the tail cropped.

Scientists call this extinct species Jinguofortis perplexus. The genus name Jinguofortis given in honor of women scientists worldwide. The name comes from the Chinese word if that means “woman warrior” and the Latin word fortis means “brave”. The species name is derived from the Latin perplexus is “confused.”

Jinguofortis perplexus has a unique combination of features, including he had jaws with small teeth like a dinosaur theropods and third finger with two bones, unlike other early birds. The scientists also drew attention to the bird’s tail, which was short and quite bony. The fact that the ancestors of birds the tail was long, as in modern birds these bones are fused.

The authors of the study concluded that Jinguofortis perplexus was able to as flapping and soaring flight, and was able to use updrafts. Presumably, these birds lived in a wooded area and they had to maneuver between trees. These unusual animals ate mostly plant food.

Also the bird had unusual structure of the shoulder girdle bones scapula fused with Raven bone or coracoid like theropod. In modern birds, these two bones are fused and attached to each other.

The existence of such a shoulder suggests the evolutionary diversity at this stage of evolution, which probably led to different styles of flight. That is Jinguofortis perplexus probably flew a little differently than birds today.

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